Musings

Emily’s Day

IMG_0756It’s her day. Dec. 10, 1830, she came
Into the world and lived in its hands
The way she wanted to live and died
In its hands the way she wanted to die.

What she did not want is for us to see
Her witchery with words, but in the end,
The poetry breathed stronger than that wish
And we breathe stronger for her words.

In November, I got to visit the Emily Dickinson Museum and Homestead. I had a wonderful tour guide and met the museum director Jane Wald and spent an entire day in poetic euphoria. Please go visit this museum and/or support its work in any way that you can. It is truly a wonderful, personal, and lyric experience. Like ROMP, it is a museum, but not a cold, institutional-like environment in any way.

I also got lost a while in Amherst Books and visited the cemetery where she is buried and where a wonderful town memorial has her as a centerpiece.

[NOTE: I saw the word error in the sentence below but decided to keep it.]

Since following in love with E.D. when I was a teenager reading

I’m Nobody! Who are you?

Are you – Nobody – too?

Then there’s a pair of us–Don’t tell!

They’d banish us – you know!

she has been in and out of my life. I did not understand her poetry for a long time, still don’t understand a lot of it, but that doesn’t bother me anymore. I have developed a taste for the image, for the economy of words, for the beauty of the stroke of syllable that teases and leaves unsaid what lives inside.

Happy Birthday, Emily. We continue to weave your web.

–Shaun Perkins

Some of my photos from the day are below:

 

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Dickinson grave plot
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Portion of the mural at the cemetery where E.D. is buried.
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Front door at E.D. museum

 

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Back of the E.D. house
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There is a basement full of used books in this place!
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Home of Austin Dickinson, Emily’s brother. It was also on the tour. It is full of the original furnishings and has not been restored–peeling wallpaper and all kinds of ambiance. Unique.
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At a strip mall across the street from the museum

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This shop is across the street from the E.D. house.
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That corner room on the 2nd floor is where magic happened.
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Lovely tree in the E.D. yard to the east.

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Parking sign

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A tour participant took this photo of me with E.D. house in background.
Poems

The Train to Will Rogers

willToday is the birthday of one of the greatest Okies who ever lived. Will Rogers, who was born Nov. 4, 1879, said, “It’s great to be great, but it’s greater to be human.”

In honor of Will, here is a poem that I wrote many years ago. It is based on a memory my gangy told me about when she would ride the train from Locust Grove to Tulsa to see a movie or to go shopping.

Train

They were fifteen and smoked Lucky Strikes
on the train to Tulsa. Both wore their best dress.
Montie Jean’s was blue taffeta with lace
crocheted along the collar. She had to stand
or stroll to keep it from creasing at her hips.
She held Ann’s arm and they squeezed their heads out
one window and shouted into the spring
day at the flitting bright spots of bluebirds
and young men in the fields, checking the soil
to see if the seeds could be planted yet.
They waved to the men, and their smart curls held
in the wind and in the hot, cramped theater
where Will Rogers lassoed both their hearts and
Montie Jean, laughing, swallowed her mint gum.

–Shaun Perkins

Events

Dark & Scary

DSC04721Come join us at the museum to visit the exhibits AND to tell and to listen to scary poems and stories around a campfire. Bring your scary poem or story to tell. Enter the SCARY POEM Contest and win a prize. All entrants will win something.

Scary Poem Contest–Deadline October 16

Write a scary poem. Make it original and dark and scary . . . Come tell it to us on Dark and Scary Night on Oct. 24. Prizes awarded. Email or mail poem to ROMP. Include name, address, and age.

Oct. 24, Saturday

6:00-9:00 p.m.

Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry

See the VISIT US page for directions.

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6:00: MUSEUM Tour
7:00: Scary Poem Contest Awards & Smores-Making
8:00: Scary Poems Around the Fire
Hot chocolate and smores will be served.

FREE and open to the public. Suitable for all ages, but parents be aware if your children do not like scary stories/poems.

For more information, call Shaun at 918-864-9152 or email ROMPoetry@gmail.com. 6619 S 4382 Locust Grove OK 74352

Events

Tin Can Drum Contest

tincan1As part of the celebration of the fall season, the Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry will have a Tin Can Poem Drum Contest. Make a drum from a tin can and come drum it in a rhythm circle at Autumn Movement with us!

Bring your drum out for a contest at the museum:

Saturday, Sept. 26

Rural Oklahoma Museum of Poetry

5:00-9:00 p.m.

Museum tours at 5:00, a drum workshop at 6:00, folk dancing at 7:00, and a drum circle at 8:00 are the events planned. Drums will be judged and prizes awarded at 6:45.

Musings, Poems

Accessory

printsbeginning2I wrote a poem on a piece of a grocery sack today. A few months ago I bought the above two pieces of artwork, or as they are called on the back “wall accessories” at a thrift store. They are both prints from 1972 that are titled “We Are Engaged.” I altered one of them and am waiting on inspiration to do the other.

I like the idea of a wall accessory. I suppose a rug is a floor accessory. Is a porch a house accessory? A hanging plant an air accessory? An ice box magnet a refrigerator accessory.

Apparently, I just like the word “accessory.”

–Shaun Perkinsbeginning to learnbeginning4

Poems

In Preparation

sewingThe sewing needle rests next to my eighth
vertebrate. I cannot feel it but know
it is there. The thread circles my kidneys
like amber capillaries. A sloping
row of real pearl buttons, tiny full moons,
bump into my small intestine. Silk blocks
wrap the ligaments of my arms, as if
my bones are on fire and must be bandaged
by something cool. A piece of lace crumpled
into a triangle lines my womb. All
that I am, all of my tools and notions,
I have swallowed and absorbed. I now leave
their world. I open the door to the night
and drink my thimbles before I run out.

–Shaun Perkins